The Oak Leaf Letterboxing Contest

Carin Huber, Copy Editor

Curious about letterboxing? Try it out at SRJC!

There are six letterboxes planted around Santa Rosa Junior College campuses.  Follow the clues below to find them.  Be one of the first students to bring your completed log to the Oak Leaf office for fun and prizes!

Prizes include a custom hand-carved rubber stamp, tickets to SRJC theater department’s production of “Footloose,” a gift certificate to Riley Street Art Supply, and more! Prizes will be awarded on a first-come-first-choice basis.

The contest is now over; scroll down to see the winners. Letterboxes may remain in place for adventure seekers until the end of the Spring 2015 semester.

What you need:

  • a copy of the clues for the letterbox you are hunting
  • an ink pad or a watercolor marker for inking the stamp
  • a writing pen
  • a log book (a sheet of paper will do fine for this contest)
  • a few wet wipes to clean the stamps
  • optional: a “signature” rubber art stamp of your own, not larger than 2” x 3”

What to do:

Follow the clues to the location of a letterbox.  If there are people around, try to be nonchalant.  You don’t want to attract attention to the box.  That’s how letterboxes end up missing, and you don’t want your competitors to profit from your superior hunting skills. Try making up an excuse for being bent down shuffling through the bushes. You could “accidentally” drop your books, bend down to tie your shoe or come back another time. If you choose to hunt after dark or on the weekend bring a copy of these instructions with you. You’ll want to show them to the police if they want to know what you’re doing on campus during off hours. If the clues for a letterbox specify accessible hours, honor the stated hours. Please be careful not to trample plantings or disturb staff.

Remove the letterbox from its hiding place and take it to a spot away from where you found it.  This, again, is to avoid making the hiding spot obvious. Open the box and remove the log book and stamp.  Use an ink pad or watercolor marker (dry-erase and permanent markers will not work) to ink the stamp and print the image in your log. Sign and date the box’s log book.  If you have a signature stamp, ink it and leave a print of it in the box’s log book as well.

Use a wet wipe to clean the stamp(s) as best you can and put the log book and stamp back in the box.  Close the letterbox securely and nonchalantly return it to its hiding place. Make sure to replace any leaves or other camouflage that covered the box originally. The box should be easy for a seeker to find, but completely hidden from a casual glance.

When you have collected images from each letterbox, bring your log to the Oak Leaf office at Analy Village, room 643, on Tuesdays or Thursdays between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to see if you’re a winner!

The Letterboxes:

  1. SRJC: Emeritus is flanked by little grassy amphitheaters. Find one on the south-west corner of the hall. Take five steps counter-clockwise around the circle and search beneath the shrubbery.
  2. The Bear: Find the gate labeled “No Parking” on the north side of Cook Sypher Field, behind home plate. Turn to the right and follow the ivy to its end. The box is on the ground under the ivy.
  3. Annual Ring: Find the Annual Ring sculpture. East of the Ring is a small out-door stage. Behind the stage find two round water system access panels. A few feet east of the panels is a fern, and next to the fern is a plant with palmately compound leaves. (Ask a botany student what that is.) The box is under that plant.
  4. Oak Leaf: Between Shuhaw and Baker a sentinel watches over fallen comrades. The box lies buried between the limbs of the hero nearest Shuhaw.
  5. Rolling Hills: There are residents at Shone farm. To avoid disturbing them, please do not look for this box after dark. Park in the paved lot near the Warren G. Dutton Jr. Agricultural Pavilion. As you enter the lot, a sign next to three cedars of Lebanon points the way to sustainable agriculture fields. (While you’re talking to the botany student, ask them to show you what these trees look like.) The box is tucked into the ground cover next to the leg of the sign nearest the middle tree.
  6. Acorns and Oak Leaves: At the Petaluma campus, begin outside the main doors of the Herold Mahoney Library, facing the Rotary Plaza. Follow the wall on your left to the third lamp post. Take two steps backward and look down to your right. The box is under the shrub to the right of the irrigation panel.
The winners of the Oak Leaf letterboxing contest.
Craig Gettman
The contest winners left to right: Milena Kalagorgevich, Bill Cusworth and Lisa Stgnoli